SenseTime Group , a Chinese artificial intelligence start-up, restarted its $767 million Hong Kong IPO on Monday, a week after it was halted due to the company’s presence on a US investment blacklist.
According to regulatory papers, SenseTime intends to sell 1.5 billion shares for between HK$3.85 and $HK3.99 each, with the final price to be determined on Thursday.
It will now rely on cornerstone investors to buy roughly $511 million in shares, or around 67 percent, up from $450 million, or 58 percent earlier.
SenseTime stated that its position on the US blacklist had no impact on its business operations, but that the absence of U.S. investors as a result could limit its capacity to acquire cash in the future and lower trading liquidity.
On December 10, the US Treasury added SenseTime to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex corporations,” accusing the company of developing a facial recognition technology to establish a target’s ethnicity, with an emphasis on ethnic Uyghurs.
More than a million people, mostly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been incarcerated in a huge system of camps in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang in recent years, according to UN experts and rights groups.
The treatment of Uyghurs has been labelled genocide by certain foreign parliamentarians and parliaments, citing evidence of forced sterilisations and deaths inside the camps. These allegations are denied by China, which asserts that Uyghur population growth rates are higher than the national average.
“Our group’s products and services are intended for civilian and commercial uses and not for any military application,” SenseTime said in the revised filings on Monday.
The corporation earlier stated that it “strongly opposed” the blacklist’s designation and that the accusations levelled against it were false.
On December 30, SenseTime’s shares will begin trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)